Darcy's Music Investigation blog- Timeline of Jazz history

  • New Orleans city supports two symphony orchestras- one white and one creole, as well as three opera houses

    Each offer separate tiers of seats for whites, creoles, and slaves Slaves were officially supposed to bring with them notes signed by their masters, granting them permission to attend before being issued tickets. Often slaves own kind of music, singing, playing drums, and strange stringed instruments in the streets of New Orleans
  • New Orleans immigration booms- 40% of people were foreign born

    New Orleans becomes the centre of the southern slave trade
  • Civil war began in New Orleans

  • New Orleans was forced to surrender, bringing with it a signal of new freedom for thousands of runaway slaves who crowded into the city from the southern interior

    “We wish to be respected and treated as men- not Africans or Negroes, or coloured people, but as Americans and American citizens” – quote from black-owned New Orleans Tribune shortly after war endedCitizens of colour fought for integrated schools, and black and Creole students peaceably attending classes alongside whites. They sued for- and won- rights to sit where they liked at the French Opera House, they also forced the city to end the system of separate streetcars along with other concquers
  • It was quoted that an editor of a newspaper saw evidence of New Orleans’ “catholicity of spirit” in the fact that “in our midst the civil and public rights of the coloured race are more fully realized than has been the case in any other southern city”

  • The last federal troops were withdrawn from the former Confederacy as white rule and strict segregation were again brutally being reimposed upon the whole region.

    Meanwhile, the city’s rich musical heritage grew steadily richer. Brass bands captivated the whole country after the Civil War. Citizens of every colour and nationality continued to be involved in marching bands.
  • Black bands began to gain recognition

    mainly as part of the ‘Louisiana Slave Troupe Brass Bands’ and ‘Smallwood’s Great Contraband Minstrels Brass Band’ and Billy Kersand’s minstrel band that marched at the head of the Mardi Gras Finale one year with such precision that its leader’s standard offer of one thousand dollars to any group that could beat them in “drilling or parading” found no takers.
  • Three new kinds of music had begun to filter through the city- three strains that without which there would have been no jazz:

    Ragtime: created by the black musicians in the Midwest, filled with broken chords to set fresh rhythms, it was the formal outgrowth of decades old African- American improvisational practice of “ragging” tunes- syncopating and rearranging them to provide livelier, more danceable versions.
  • one: Ragtime:

    Created by the black musicians in the Midwest, filled with broken chords to set fresh rhythms, it was the formal outgrowth of decades old African- American improvisational practice of “ragging” tunes- syncopating and rearranging them to provide livelier, more danceable versions.
  • two: blues

    No one knows where or when blues was born, the earliest blues singers- wandering guitarists who played for pennies along the southern roads- following no strict musical form. It came to be built on just three chords, most often arranged in twelve-bar sequences that somehow allowed for an infinite number of variations and were capable of expressing an infinite number of emotions.
  • three: Church style blues aka pre jazz fusion:

    musically, the blues and hymns black Baptists sang and played in church had always been virtually interchangeable- filled with bent notes, moans and cries. In the 1890s the distinction would blur between Hymns and Blues music. Churches had begun to spring up in the black neighbourhoods and started employing tambourines, drums , pianos, cornets, and even trombones in order to make their noise more joyful to the Lord.
  • New statuses barred blacks entirely from theatres where they had once at least been permitted a separate section of their own.

    Negroes were not allowed in the places where classical music was played. A new bill was passed so any person bearing even a ‘single trace’ of black blood was enough to rank a person as a second-class citizen
  • America goes to war with Spain- marching bands create music for the troops- using their traditional ‘ragging’ method to add syncopation and embellishments to familiar marching tunes

    Musician Buddy Bolden, having taken cornet lessons from a neighbour and playing with church bands in the past, takes this embellished form of music and translates it to the compositions for dance halls, blending it with blues, creating one of the first strings of Jazz music- a combination of band music, blues, church music, and rag time as well as many other, uncategorized styles.
    One of his works around this time: Buddy Bolden Blues:
  • Jelly Roll Morton 'man of a thousand songs' begins to play music

    Morton wrote in 1938: "it is evidently known that New Orleans is the cradle of jazz, and I happened to be its creator in the year 1902" Morton was 12 in 1902, this was the year he began playing music.
    Morton was among the first to play jazz, its first theoriest and composer.
    He began composing in 1905, to produce music that incorporated blues and ragtime but was clearly different from either one.
    Mortons best early known piece was 'king porter stomp'
  • Buddy Bolden, New Orleans Best known Black musician goes to the Insane Asylum

    at 29 years old Bolden was sadly diagnosed with dementia praecox, a mental illness that lead him to hear voices, have paranoid delusions and hallucinations as well as loss of memory.
    This was the end to his musical genius, and widely known career.
    His music would still be played for many years to come, and would remain known as one of the great founders of Jazz music
  • Sidney Becket gets discovered

    self taught clarinetist Sidney Becket was discovered at the age of nine, after a creol band came to his house to perform in a garden party, and he, much to everyones surprise, got up and did a solo.
    After his parents did everything they could to stop him playing music full time they eventually gave up. He soon became one of Americas most famous clarinetists, and later to be a founder of Jazz, and an outstanding saxaphone player
  • Louis Armstrong was discovered by Becket and Johnson

    After hearing a boys quartet singing for pennies on a street corner, Becket invited them for dinner. The tenor singer of the quartet, Louis Armstrong was a musical genius by nature, his 'gift' as he called it, helped turn jazz into a soloist's art- influencing every singerer, instrumentalist and artist who came after him.
  • Louis Armstrong gets his first real job as a musician

    After hearing Armstrong's soulful blues, Henry Ponce invited him to become a part of a three piece band.
  • Edward Kennedy Ellington began his love for music

    At fifteen years old, while he took a vacation with his mother, Ellington took up a temporary job washing dishes at a hotel. He hated the job, but was inspired by a headwaiter who talked him into going to hear a Philadelphia ragtime pianast named Harvey Brooks during his off hours. "I cannot tell you what that music did to me", he would one day say "I said right then, that is how I would like to play piano, so without being told, everyone would know I was playing".
  • Browns Band from dixieland arrive in Chicago

    Bands began to move out of the heart of New Orleans and try to share their music with other places.
    "Our debut was pitiful" the cornetist Ray Lopez later admitted "those yankees wouldn't listen or dance, they just walked out on us." We said to them; "Folks, this is New Orleans music. Hot music. People down south dance. Come on and try. Have fun!".
    For nights he pleaded, and eventually their music caught on like magic.
  • Freddie Kepard makes jazz history

    hitting the highest and lowest notes ever played on trumpet, in turn being offered to take an oppertunity to record his music, which he passed up saying that he didnt want his music to be stolen, therefor loosing the chance to be the first artist recorded in jazz music history
  • the word jazz was given to this music.

    Unknown to where it started, this word became slang for the music of freedom played in clubs and bars. LaRocca, one of New Orleans best known cornetists once said "Women stood up on the dance floor, doing wild dances. They had to pull them off... the more they would carry on, the better we would play. The crowd would start yelling 'Give us more jass', they made the word, we just played the music" The word was then changed from Jass to Jazz, as little boys used to scratch the J's of the posters.
  • Jazz music was first recorded

    The Original Dixiland Jazz band assembled in a tiny recording studio and nervously played two tunes: Livery Stable Blues and Darktown Strutters Ball
  • jazz music is brought to Brittan

    America had entered the great war, as fighters reached great Brittan, they brougth their music with them. The fighters were heard playing their music, and were asked to play in a country club, with great results. Here began the infectios Jazz music in Brittan.
  • Jazz music is now common in Europe

    The words Jazz and Jazzy are now commonplace words, the ODJB played for the royalty at Buckingham Palace. They were called Hellfighters.
  • Period: to


  • The hatred towards African Americans drew popular Jazz to a hold

    Bands fell apart, members were killed. Jazz music played by African Americans was thought the be scandalous and unacceptable again. Jazz music, as a genre was still loved, so often white men would ask Negros to create music for them to play. Black Jazz players would play sheet music, no expression allowed.
  • Sidney Bechet takes a stand

    A single exception was made to the rule of white music, 21 year old Sidney was allowed to improvise his own solo just before finale each night on a tune called characteristic blues